Great Illustrated Books

My Father's Dragon

By Ruth Stiles Gannett

Random House Books for Young Readers, 2008
Pages : 96
Suggested Ages: 4 and Up
ISBN: 1453782052

Elmer Elevator braves Wild Island to save an overworked baby dragon in Ruth Gannett's clever and humorous 1948 adventure. A talking alley cat persuades Elmer to undertake a journey to a dangerous island. He packs wisely: filling his father's knapsack with chewing gum, two dozen pink lollipops, a handful of rubber bands, a pair of black rubber boots, a compass, a toothbrush, six magnifying glasses, a very sharp jackknife, a comb and a hairbrush, seven hair ribbons of different colors, an empty grain bag with a label saying "Cranberry," some clean clothes, and twenty-five peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Elmer hides on a ship for six days until he reaches a port city where the natives are almost too scared to give him directions for the rest of his journey. Fearless, Elmer continues on his mission anyway, and soon finds himself on the most amazing —and untamed —island on Earth.

Each of the items Elmer packed comes in handy at just the right moment, sometimes with hilarious results, as he outwits the mean and hungry wild animals that stand in his way. Illustrated by Gannett's stepmother Ruth Chrisman Gannett, kids will pore over the lithographed pages and want this clever read-aloud to be told again and again. Have your kids come up with more items for Elmer's pack, and more dangers to solve with them. Make travel brochures for Wild Island, highlighting the different forms of travel brought up in the book. Follow the book with its two sequels, Elmer and the Dragon and The Dragons of Blueland.

Reviewed by : CH.


If you love this book, then try:

Cooper, Susan. Matthew's Dragon. Aladdin, 1991.

DePaola, Tomie. The Knight and the Dragon. Putnam, 1998.

Lobel, Arnold. Frog and Toad Are Friends. HarperCollins, c1970. (And other books in the Frog and Toad series.)

Lobel, Arnold. Mouse Tales. HarperCollins, c1978. (And other books in the Mouse Tales series.)

Munsch, Robert. The Paper Bag Princess. Annick Press, 1980.

Thomas, Shelley Moore. Get Well, Good Knight. Dutton, 2000.

Williams, Arlene. Dragon Soup. HJ Kramer, 1996.

Critics have said

Here is a real delight���a nonsense tale in which the ingenuity of the humor and the logic of the nonsense are irresistible..
The New Yorker